Frequently, someone asks me why I chose to be a preacher. Those who know my background know that I spent five years coaching with Don Meyer at Lipscomb University. Last year, Coach became the winningest men’s basketball coach in NCAA history. If I would have stayed with him, who knows where I might be coaching now. So why preach?
Others know that after working with Coach, I began teaching high school history and coaching basketball and tennis. We had great teams. I got to teach Advanced Placement students. I was president of our school district’s personnel policy committee and was being groomed by the superintendent for an administrative position. So, why leave that behind to preach?
While I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant, and while I want to be clear that I’m not comparing myself to these great men, I do have something in common with Jeremiah the OT prophet and the Apostle Paul. Both of them told their friends and students that they didn’t choose to preach. Preaching chose them. They couldn’t keep the counsel of God inside; they HAD to share it. So they did God’s will. They preached and prophesied, and both lived troubled lives of persecution and rejection. So why preach?
There isn’t anything in the world more important than preaching the gospel and helping people grow in their relationship with God. That’s how I feel. That’s what I believe. That’s what I know is true for me. I can’t help it; I have to preach and teach or I know that I’m wasting the gifts God has carved into my core.
But what about you? What’s the most important job in the world for you? It may not be preaching. Maybe it’s giving or encouraging or serving. Maybe it’s teaching your toddlers about the God who holds the whole world in His hands. This most important thing is different for us all, because God crafted us all with different gifts and abilities and contexts. But one of the things we all have in common is the need to find our niche and to figure out how we fit into the mission of God. That’s what I did eight years ago when I left other successful pursuits in order to give my life to preaching and teaching about God and his Christ. Those years haven’t always been easy, but I can’t imagine doing anything else anymore.
That’s why I preach.